A Safe Place to Share

Hi friends, long time no talk! I’m so sorry about the lack of writing on my end here lately.  I just really have not been in the mood to sit down and blog about my life.  I’m doing okay, but there’s some not so pretty stuff that I’ve wanted to blog about, but wasn’t sure if I should.

I suppose, I haven’t felt like this is a safe place to share all of my feelings anymore – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It probably has to do with the fact that I’ve allowed this blog to be a public space where I share very openly about who I am and the details of my life.  Anyone who knows me could easily find this page.

Now that I’ve started to make videos on YouTube as well, I’ve opened myself up to even more criticism and vulnerability.  I’ve already had two comments on my YouTube page that said, “Why don’t you just adopt?”

As much as I want to share my journey and be totally open with the world about this struggle, it is hard to feel like people are judging your every move.  Instead of this being a sanctuary where I feel comfortable sharing the worst moments of my life, I’m now starting to feel anxious about how some people will respond to my decisions.

And even within the infertility and miscarriage community, I’ve started to not feel safe sharing the details of our TTC journey.

Let me explain:

I am not comfortable with fertility treatments.  It’s a personal decision that I made a long time ago and have reevaluated time and time again, praying and talking with my husband.  I have many reasons for why I’m not comfortable with the treatments, but none of them I feel like explaining because it’s my own business between me, my husband, and the Lord.  Just as your decision to use or not use fertility treatments are between you, your husband, and the Lord.

But I sometimes can’t help but to feel that people are making assumptions about me.  I wonder if people assume that I’ve never done a shred of research on the topic of recurrent miscarriage.  I wonder if people think I could change my situation by just seeing a doctor.  I wonder if people judge me for not seeking treatment and not “taking control of my fertility.”

If I seem disinterested in changing my circumstances, it’s only because I did everything I could in the past and it was completely out of my control.  And now, I’m just tired.  I don’t know what God’s plans are for my life.  I don’t know when He will give us our children but I believe, even when I don’t feel Him moving, that He is working to redeem all that has been lost and that He will not let one single ounce of this painful journey go to waste.

Some of you are on top of your game and you have your RE on speed dial and you are taking control of your fertility and working hard to get a baby.  That is great and I 100% support you and pray that you will be successful.  But please, don’t judge me because I don’t have the energy or desire to do the same things.

I know my limitations – and that just happens to be one of them. I know my husband’s limitations – and I know that fertility treatments would hurt our marriage deeply.  I know that we have already had so much stacked up against our marriage, and even if having children takes longer, it is worth it to me to put my husband and the sanctity of our marriage first.

As much as I want to have children and as strong as I desire to help make that happen, I feel the most comfortable taking care of myself by eating healthier, working out, and trying to find happiness in my life apart from infertility.  I believe that God is faithful and if I continue to believe and put my hope in Him, He will grant me the desires of my heart.

I know that makes some of you cringe and you think I should go try “xyz”.  But you know what, what if I spend thousands of dollars and I invest all of myself into treatments only to end up with empty arms at the end of the journey and a heart that gets more and more weary by the day?

It’s not worth it to me to destroy myself with this journey.  It’s hard enough just living through this without all of the added stress of seeing a doctor all the time and getting bills in the mail left and right.  I believe that the very same God who healed the barren women in the bible and throughout history, can heal me today.  And I believe that God who healed me once of a painful disease, can heal me again.  He is faithful, and He will do it!

While I have faith in God’s plans for my life and believe that He is always for me and working in ways that are unseen that will someday make me leap with joy, I still struggle with living through this pain.  It’s been over three years now since our first miscarriage and the pain has definitely been easier to deal with the passing of time.  I don’t feel as impatient now as I once did.  I don’t feel consumed by my desire to have a baby day in and day out.  But there are times, usually about once a month when I’m getting hormonal and hopeful, that this journey weighs heavily on my heart.

It’s in those times that my feelings are ugly.  I feel bitter, jealous, sad, angry, and sometimes even hopeless.

It’s in those times when I beg God to end my suffering and I question Him “Why? Do you hear the breaking of my heart all over again, my Lord? Do you cry with me?”

And some of you might question my faith and wonder if I’m doubting God.

But look at Jesus as He agonized in the garden before His death:

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, Stay here and keep watch with me.”  Going a little father, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus prayed that prayer three times.  Jesus never denied the reality of His feelings.  He described the agony of the suffering that was going to come upon Him by saying, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

Again, as Jesus was on the cross, dying for our sins so that we may live, He cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus is the perfect example of what I like to call, “Faith not Feelings”.  My feelings might be terrified, I might be afraid for what is to come, but my faith pushes me forward and gives me strength to endure and move beyond my feelings.

When the negative pregnancy test comes and it aches just to get up for church in the morning and my heart breaks for the children I long to hold throughout worship, I praise my Father in Heaven who is worthy to be praised because of my faith, not my feelings.  When every couple in our lifegroup has children but us, I continue to go and fellowship because of my faith, not my feelings.

Faith is not the absence of feelings, but rather, the action to move regardless of how you feel.

Jonathan gave me the perfect example the other day when we were talking about Christians who are persecuted throughout the world for their faith.  I asked him how he thought I would respond if I were ever facing death or intense persecution for my faith.  He said that he doesn’t think that I would deny Jesus, but that I would probably be very scared.

But then he said, “I get scared in my job sometimes when I’m going to a dangerous call, but I do the right thing anyways.”

And that’s how faith is.  Whether you are going through the trials of infertility and miscarriage, or facing intense persecution for believing in Jesus, you act and you move regardless of how you feel.  You do what is right, even when all you want to do is run and hide.

You believe and you put your hope in God, even when circumstances scream at you to give up.  You believe in the impossible and you trust in God’s plans for the world, because of faith.  And even if that faith is little and not very strong, Jesus says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

In the moments when I’ve felt at my worst and the weakest, I’ve connected with God and felt His presence there with me like never before. It’s in those moments when my feelings are ugly and dark, where His grace resides the most. When I am weak, He is strong.  When I am faithless, He is faithful.  When I am broken, He is the Healer!

It’s in those moments that other people would look at me and despise me, that God looks at me and loves the unlovable.  In the worst moments of my life, I see just how much God really does love me, enough to die for me “while I was yet a sinner.”  And when I forget that I have been made new, when I forget that my life has been bought with the precious blood of Christ, when I forget that I am righteous because of who Jesus is and not for what I do, that is when His grace abounds and He reminds me, “You are my daughter, I love you.”

And so my hope is that, this will feel like a safe place to share my struggles again.  My hope is that you won’t judge me for what I do or what I believe, but that you will journey with me through this battlefield and that we will all be a little more supportive and loving, even if we don’t all agree on certain things.

For there are people outside of this community that can never truly understand just how painful it is to live through infertility and recurrent miscarriage.  But in this community, we can give each other what the outside world often tries to deny us, a safe place to share our voices and our hearts as we long for children to fill our homes and our hearts.

Oh yeah, and because I got a little side tracked, I forgot to share what I’ve been up to lately! Oops! A little quick update: We did decide to try to conceive this month, ending our TTC break and taking a leap of faith.  I’m 5 days late, but have had BFN’s every single day.  I’m pretty sure I ovulated a week later than I was supposed to so I’m thinking that’s why my period is late.  But this sure is frustrating.  My diet is also not going so well this week because I’ve been enjoying some “comfort foods”.  I’ll get back on the horse when I’m feeling better! What else? I started a new job – it’s just a part time gig, about an hour a day.  I’m working with my friend who started her own pet sitting business last year.  My clients are very loving and sweet :-) The only problem, when I come home, my two fur babies, Elmo and Maxi are not pleased with the smell of other animals.  They are needing extra attention and playtime now to make up for me “seeing other animals”. Thank God for animals – they are just the best!

I have more to share, but I’ll talk about that all tomorrow.  I appreciate all of your love, prayers, and support and I thank you in advance for understanding where I’m coming from with my “vent” today.

May the Lord Jesus be with each and every one of you,

Amber

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19 thoughts on “A Safe Place to Share

  1. Such a good post. I am sorry that you haven’t felt the love and support that you deserve. You are doing what you need to do, and that is what counts. Like you said, just because you did fertility treatments, doesn’t guarantee a different outcome. Heck, my grandmother had 5 or 6 miscarriages but still came out with 3 kids. My mom had 3 between my brother and I. Both of them were able to conceive with ZERO help from an RE or fertility meds. There is obviously a reason that you feel the way that you do and good for you for sticking to it.

    I hope and pray that one day we will all get to read an amazing post about your newborn. I will continue to pray for you in your journey. Good luck! :)

  2. Hey lady, I know I’m one of those people who has aggressively pursued treatment & I’ve made some suggestions to you, but I hope you know that I respect your decisions & I hope I haven’t made you feel bad. I thInk most important is to stay 100% gluten-free, to keep the inflammation away and I can support you because I’m gluten free too. XOXO

    • Hey hun, I don’t feel like you’ve judged me and I know you respect everyone’s decisions even if they are different – I don’t really think anyone has tried to be mean to me or judge me, it’s just a worry I’ve had because I’m not really taking the common path of seeking treatment. I don’t really know how to explain how I’m feeling – I just worry that someone will think my feelings don’t matter because I’m not doing certain things to make changes if that makes sense? I’m probably just paranoid :-) Thanks for your support, XOXO!

      • If I’m being honest, I do judge some bloggers’ decisions. I got really upset when somebody wrote about “selective reduction” (a.k.a. *abortion*) the other day, having ovulated several eggs and not wanting more than twins. It upset me. I said so. And then I “unfollowed” that blog. So yeah–I have my limits. XO

      • Yeah, I would definitely struggle with being judgmental about that – I just don’t understand how anyone who has been through infertility can do that. I also read the other day that a couple used a surrogate from Australia (I believe) and left the baby with the surrogate when they found out the child had down syndrome. As someone who just loves children so much, I just can’t ever understand that. I struggle to understand abortion at all, really, but I try not to think about it too much or I start to feel sick about it. And the other day I read about a toddler who died because she was starved to death and I thought, “God, why couldn’t you give me and Jonathan that child where it would be loved and protected?” I guess I need to stop reading the news :-/

      • I saw that story about the Down Syndrome twin–shame on them, who does that?! I’m with you–I cannot handle reading about cruelty to children. God is with them even when they suffer, but it’s just so sad. You’ll be a great Mom. XOXO

  3. Hey hun! Such a great post! I too feel the same way about my space. No one has directly said things to me (well, expect for ol’ Lily in that one post) but I just feel like I can’t be open. I often lose followers left and right when I post more “spiritual” posts and for some reason I have let that affect what I do or do not post. Sending you hugs girlie!

    • Thank you for sharing! No one has said anything to me, it’s just a feeling I get, and now that you’ve shared the same feeling, I’m thinking it is probably the enemy trying to stop us from bringing God glory through this ministry. That makes me feel better and also, more motivated to keep pushing back the dark! Keep shining the light for Christ, I love your blog so much and I’ve often went back several times to read an encouraging post you’ve shared in times of need. For instance, the post about the alternative pregnancy tests I enjoyed so much after getting a negative test this weekend on a digital that I had to read it to my husband. It made us both laugh and smile during a time when we really just wanted to cry. XOXO

      • awe thanks hun for letting me know that you get encouragement from my blog. I also feel the same way about your posts and I have missed seeing them regularly pop up in my reader. Keep blogging and I will do the same. I’m going to try and not hold back as much anymore. Love ya!

  4. I hope this can become your safe place again. I promise I would never judge you for how you choose to proceed or not to proceed in your TTC journey. I think your faith is amazing and I love that you choose to trust and believe that God is going to bless you. He will. I believe it too. Thinking of you and sending major big hugs!! XO

  5. This is the first time I’ve visited your blog, and I have to say wow and bravo! There will always be naysayers who believe their thoughts and opinions should be our truth, but this is your space and I say well done! It takes incredible courage to pour out your heart in the way that you have. Every time I hit the publish button, I worry that giving someone a window into my life could backfire on me. But, if just one woman reads the words and can breathe a sigh of relief that she’s not alone, then God has answered my prayer. I cannot imagine that your vulnerability and transparency has not accomplished that in many lives. As a sister in Christ, I join my heart with yours and I’m thankful for your truth and very authentic faith!

    • I totally agree with you on being brave and publishing – you never know who you might help and encourage during this journey. It might not be many, but if you help just one, I think it makes this journey all the more worth it to know God had a purpose for you through the pain. Thank you for visiting! I’ll have to come by your blog and do some reading soon :-) XOXO

  6. Oh hon, I’m so glad to hear from you and I’m so angry and sad that this place of sharing has been tainted for you. I’m appalled by the ignorance and tenacity of some people. Being someone who has suffered through RPL too, and have even tried fertility treatments, I can truly say, there is no easy fix for RPL! I absolutely believe in fertility treatments and know they work for many, but they sure didn’t work for me. All I had left at the end of it was a lot of debt. In the end going back to the basics and trusting in God, was the best decision for me.

    I think what you are doing is great. Getting healthy is always a good decision, and trusting your gut and your heart is too. And most important of all is trusting your faith. Being of strong faith myself, I think that is always the best place to start. That’s not to say it isn’t okay to have doubts. I for one, would never question your faith just because you give into human emotions. It’s your faith that pulls you out of the dark days and keeps you going. I just love what you said, “Faith is not the absence of feelings, but rather, the action to move regardless of how you feel.” So beautifully said and so true!

    God is with you Amber, He won’t let you down. There are so many on here who are with you too. No judgements, no advice, just with love and support. You always have a safe voice with me. Hugs hon <3

    P.s., don't feel bad for indulging in comfort foods, sometimes you just have to. And yes! Thank God for animals! I'm so happy you found a job working with them. That sounds wonderful! Praying for your BFP!

    • Thank you :-) No one said anything mean or hurtful to me (except some random troll who told me I wasn’t getting pregnant because I was overweight) but it was more of a feeling and some doubt that I had. I don’t have anything against fertility treatments, in fact my niece was conceived thanks to Clomid, but I just know that it’s a journey we are not interested in taking, at least not now. I don’t want to be one of those people that says “never” because, you just never know where God will lead you, but for now it’s a closed door.

      Thank you for sharing and I find a lot of hope in your story and I’m thankful that your little boy is doing so well. I know you have a scary few weeks ahead of you and I’ll be praying for you. XOXO

  7. Pingback: How is it already August? | Amber Under Construction

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